Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday called for continuous and peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians to engender national unity, harmony and development.
He said, both Islam and Christianity shared common beliefs, therefore, it was unnecessary to attack one another for not agreeing with the view points of one’s faith.
“We all share common beliefs as Muslims and Christians, and what is more important is that the Prophet Mohammed told all Muslims that, among all the faiths, we as Muslims should be closest to the Christians because they are good people,” he said.
“So today, if you’re a Muslim and you say you don’t like Christians, it means you don’t understand Islam, and if you’re a Christian and you say you don’t like Muslims, then you don’t understand Christianity,” Vice President Bawumia said.
The Vice President gave the advice at the Centenary Public Lecture, organised in honour of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharabutu in Accra on Tuesday.
His comments attracted spontaneous applause from the gathering in acknowledgement of the need to live in peace and unity.
The Vice President said what united Muslims and Christians were more than what divided them because they worshiped the same God, revered the Virgin Mary, believed in the miracles of Jesus Christ, who would come back before the Day of Judgment to defeat the false prophets or anti-Christ.
He noted that, at a time the world was experiencing religious intolerance, leading to the unfortunate killing of innocent people by religious extremists, who could not tolerate the religious views of others; Ghana was enjoying the great collaboration between the two leading religious groups.
Vice President Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians not to take for granted the peace the nation was enjoying as it was achieved through the coveted efforts of noble men like Chief Imam Sharabutu and the Christian Leaders in Ghana.
He, thus, reiterated government’s commitment to promoting inclusive governance by pursuing policies to benefit all segments of the population.
He renewed government’s resolve to creating jobs for the teeming youth and pursuing programmes that would enable all children of school-going-age to receive education and build social infrastructure to stimulate economic growth.
The Vice President lauded the historic visit by the Chief Imam to the Christ the King Parish of the Catholic Church on Easter Sunday, which was reciprocated by a visit by some Christian Leaders to the home of the Chief Imam, describing the gesture as “beautiful scenes to behold and a pride for every Ghanaian”.
He expressed the conviction that the positive image the nation had built within the International Community, through the Chief Imam’s gesture, would be emulated by the neighboring countries and across the globe for peaceful co-existence.
Vice President Bawumia lauded the level of cooperation and mutual respect that existed between the leadership of Muslims and Christians in Ghana, saying that it was crucial for freedom of worship in the country.
The lecture was held on the theme: “Advancement of Modern Ghanaian Society through Peace, Tolerance and Development”.
It was attended by high profile personalities including Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Former President John Dramani Mahama, Muslim clerics and other members of the Clergy.
Most Reverend Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, chaired the programme.
He conveyed the felicitations of the Catholic Church and the Christian Community to the Chief Imam and wished him long life.
He lauded the historic visit of the Muslim Leader to the Christ the King Parish and said it showed the brotherliness that existed between the Muslims and Christians.
Sheikh Dr Osman Nuhu Sharabutu was born on April 23, 1919, at Old Fadama, to Sheikh Nuhu Bin Mohammed and Ayishetu Abbas.
He was appointed as the National Chief Imam of the Tijaniyya Muslims in Ghana to succeed Sheikh Mukhtar Abbas in 1993.